Construction Accident And Injury Frequently Asked Questions
Many accident victims are overwhelmed by their injuries, and the thought of a legal case can seem daunting. At Hofmann & Schweitzer, our legal team understands these feelings, and we’ve compiled our thoughts on many common worries here to help you get started finding the answers you need to protect yourself and your family. If you’ve been hurt in a construction, maritime, or railroad accident, browse our FAQs today.
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Who Investigates New York City Construction Accidents and Why?
The construction accident that caused your injury has already happened. The damage can’t be undone, but the investigation into why the accident occurred and how it could’ve been prevented may be just beginning. As an injured construction worker it is important to know about the investigation of New York City construction accidents and what the investigations may mean for you.
Three Possible Sources of New York Construction Accident Investigations
After your accident injury, the following investigations may take place:
- OSHA. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may investigate what happened.
- The construction company. Your employer, or the construction company responsible for the accident, may conduct an internal investigation or hire an attorney or outside consultant to handle the investigation.
- Local or state officials. The New York City Department of Buildings, for example, may investigate New York City construction accidents.
While you may be interested in the outcome of all of these investigations, it is important to remember that none of these investigators are looking out for your best interests.
Call a New York Construction Accident Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
You have the right to have your own investigation done after a serious New York City construction accident. You have the right to hire an experienced New York construction accident attorney who will not only investigate the cause of the accident and determine what really happened but who will also advise you of your legal rights and zealously advocate for your full and fair recovery.
For more information about your rights and about how to protect your possible recovery, we encourage you to contact a New York construction lawyer today via this website or by calling us directly at 800-362-9329. We also invite you to learn more by reading our informational pamphlet, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone, which is available for FREE on our website.
What can be done to prevent construction falls?
On construction sites, many hazards result in devastating accidents. Construction workers may be at risk of electrical shock, falling debris, and countless other dangers that are present on the job every single day they head to work. However, in Bronx, Queens, and across New York City, falls are an especially prevalent cause of construction fatalities and injuries. As a result, you should be mindful of the risks you face while working in high places and try to do what you can to avoid falling down. Furthermore, construction companies have a responsibility to do what they can to prevent falls.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration discusses some of the different ways that construction falls can be avoided. For example, workers should always have property safety equipment and work on the appropriate type of scaffolding or ladder. Depending on the job, harnesses may be very important. Prior to starting a project, contractors and construction companies should make sure that all steps have been taken to reduce the likelihood of a fall. All construction workers should also have the appropriate training beforehand.
Over the course of 2015, 350 construction workers in the U.S. lost their lives due to falling, which makes falls the number one cause of construction fatalities. Unfortunately, some construction workers fall because of someone else's negligence. If one of your family members fell down and was injured or passed away, or if you are trying to cope with the consequences of a serious injury after falling, you should make sure that anyone's negligent behavior is addressed. If you have any questions about an accident, call our construction site fall lawyers at 212-465-8840.
What are some of the deadliest construction accidents?
On construction sites across the country, there are all sorts of hazards that workers need to look out for. Sadly, these dangers often leave construction workers with serious injuries that change their lives for the worse. Sadly, in New York City, construction accidents have also claimed too many lives over the years. As a result, it is essential for construction workers and the companies that employ them to be aware of some of the main causes of deadly construction accidents.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration draws attention to four primary reasons why construction workers lose their lives on job sites. Known as the fatal four, these accidents made up for 64 percent of all fatal construction accidents during 2015 according to OSHA. Falling, which includes ladder falls and scaffolding accidents, accounted for 38 percent of construction worker deaths throughout 2015. However, there were other accidents that occurred far too frequently, including electrocution, becoming caught-in or between and being struck by objects. In fact, an estimated 602 lives would be saved each year in the U.S. if it were not for these four types of accidents.
If you have been hurt in a job site accident, you need to examine your choices immediately. Depending on what happened, you may have different resources to help you move forward. For example, you may be eligible for workers' comp, or you may even want to look into holding a negligent person or company accountable. Regardless, you should do everything you can to put the accident behind you and move on with your life, if possible.
Why Do Falls Happen So Often on Construction Sites?
Falls are one of the top risks on New York construction sites. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls are the number one cause of death on construction job sites. Anytime you are working at a height four feet or more off the ground, you increase your risk of a fall accident.
There are many hazards in the workplace that lead to such accidents. This can include not following safety protocol or regulations, such as using scaffolding. In many cases, accidents happen because workers are not using the correct type of safety protection for the situation they are working in. Some accidents may happen due to not paying attention to your surroundings or not being aware of risks in the area, such as a skylight or drop off. Misusing safety equipment is another issue. Not properly anchoring ladders, not wearing a harness correctly or trying to use improperly built scaffolding are all examples of this.
The best way to avoid a fall accident on a construction site is to get proper safety training. Your employer should offer such training to help you understand how and when to use safety equipment, along with the safety protocols you need to observe when working at heights. In addition, your employer should provide you with the proper safety gear and equipment. Finally, just staying alert and aware can decrease your risks of a fall. It is also important to report safety concerns or situations that you have seen. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.
How Can Scaffolding Injuries Be Reduced?
Construction workers in New York City have a unique struggle to face. They're almost always working up rather than out due to the limited area the city occupies, and the fact that high rise buildings and sky scrapers are common there. Unfortunately, this also means that scaffolding-related injuries are common.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has pointed out that up to 65 percent of the construction industry works on scaffolds. This translates to 60 fatal accidents and 4,500 non-fatal accidents that occur on scaffolding every year. Reducing these injuries can be difficult simply due to the environment that workers like you have to deal with. There's a lot going on all at once and just one slip of the mind or a tiny mistake can result in a fall.
If you want to reduce the potential of scaffolding-related accidents and injury, you should check out tools like a safety and health program tailored to point out the biggest hazards in scaffolding. This can help you identify potential dangers or hazardous situations before they become an issue. Additionally, you may want to keep one of OSHA's checklists on hand. They provide a different one for different types of scaffolding and list out the dangers specific to that scaffolding type. Being able to physically keep track of issues or things that need to be watched may do wonders for the safety of your construction site.
Of course, mindfulness also plays a role. Try to instruct your workers to keep an eye on their surroundings at all times. When combined with the above tools, it's possible to reduce the dangers of working on scaffolding.
What are the “fatal four” accidents in construction?
With the rapid rise in construction fatalities in New York over the last decade, you may be like many people who are wondering what can be done to prevent any more tragedies. Researchers with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have determined that over 64 percent of all construction worker deaths are caused by certain accidents that they are terming the “fatal four.” Here is what you need to know about these so you can avoid serious accidents and injuries.
Studies have shown that over 20 percent of all worker deaths occur on a construction site, and the biggest cause of these fatalities is falls. This problem accounted for over 38 percent of fatalities, meaning that, of the 937 total construction deaths in 2015, 364 were due to falls. These can be due to neglect, equipment failure or other types of accidents.
The three other causes in the fatal four each account for less than 10 percent of the total deaths. These include workers who are struck by an object, electrocuted, or caught in or between something. The last category includes everything from being crushed in a collapse, compressed by objects and equipment, and caught in material.
Many of these deaths were due to violations. Some of the most frequently cited issues include scaffolding requirements, fall protection, ladder concerns, hazard communication and machine guarding. This information is intended to educate you about the most common dangers and risks found on construction sites and should not be taken as legal advice.
Are violations to blame for construction accidents?
A top concern for New York lawmakers has been the high rate of accidents on construction sites, which could lead to your serious injury or death. According to Insurance Journal, there have been almost 500 deaths of construction workers in New York City alone over the past decade. Officials have been seeking to lower this number with 18 bills currently attempting to make changes that will lead to safer work environments for construction workers.
There are many ways that you can be injured as you work on a construction site, but statistics show that almost half of the deaths across the state are were caused by falls. While union construction sites were proven to be safer for you than non-union locations, over 90 percent of sites where fatalities occurred were found to be in violation of the safety standards set forth by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Various acts are being proposed in an effort to decrease the number of worker fatalities and increase compliance with safety guidelines. Some of these include additional guardrails, nets and penalties for violations. Experts state that a greater effort needs to be made in training and education in order to provide you with the knowledge you need to operate safely.
While New York City currently has a 10-hour training program in place, you are only required to take it if you will be stationed on very tall or large buildings. An effort is being made to expand this training for all workers. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.